Thanks to the Republicans

for leaving so much of the budget undone.

There has been some discussion going around the blogosphere regarding the Repugs failing to do any meaningful work and failing to produce a budget for most of the government (save defense and war).  The broad consensus is that they have punted on most of the work of Congress.

All Dems should thank the Repugs abundantly for punting on all those spending bills.  


Because, this means the Dems can lard (as in sew pieces of fat into a bony piece of meat to make it edible) them not with pork, but with:

(a) rollbacks of Repug changes to all those health, welfare and environment programs and

(b) explicit removals of presidential power to change or modify them, a la Youngstown Sheet and Tube v. Sawyer category 3 (i.e., where Congress has explicitly spoken, the President's independent power is at its nadir and his ability to act independently is quite limited.).  

Under category (a)  - you name the environmental, health, educational or public welfare (general "public good" - not "monthly checks") program Bushie and his henchmen haven't gone after to destroy or pervert.  The latest - today - is EPA trying to eliminate all national standards for lead emissions.  In the dark of night, in a cloud of bluff and bullsh*t.  

Roll back the changes, enact the new ones furthering Dem principles, and withdraw the power of the bureaucracy to make new ones against Dem principles.

In category (b), we can start with stuff like forbidding him from conducting any show trials at Gitmo or spending any money on the "court complex" contract, for starters.  Then we can move on to things like barring the government from spending any money arguing in Court that, say, state secrets preclude the Courts from addressing the claims of torture by detainees or, say, that the Courts have no jurisdiction over habeas claims by prisoners.  (I think the DoJ budget is one of those not yet done....)

They can even include a provision that says "Presidential signing statements are a nullity".

And, if the Dems have the chestnuts to use the conference committees in a manner even remotely close to the way the Repugs did, but more politely, there's no way even Holier-than-thou Sen. Tortureman (CFL-CT) can hold up the budgets.

Here's the syllogism:  

Congress re-works the budgets the Repugs punted to enact the Dem policy preferences.

Congress presents Preznit with budget, makes clear "this is the budget you will get".  

Preznit refuses to sign budget - it's his fault the government will shut down.

Dems can say:  "public - when the parks start closing, call the White House"

Preznit vetoes budget - it's his fault the government will shut down

Dems can say:  "public - when the parks start closing, call the White House"

Preznit signs budget and appends signing statements (oops! they're nullities!) and disobeys the budget - well, spending government funds contrary to appropriations is commonly considered, uh, a crime.  

Preznit obeys budget - he's neutered.

The Repugs did a great disservice to their Commander-in-Chief.  The Dems ought to thank them, as they take advantage of it.

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    Great post (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 09:14:27 PM EST
    Will they take this great opportunity and use it?  I'm afraid to get my hopes up.

    As for the lead emissions, that's some dangerous sh*t.  What is the matter with those people?

    What is the matter with those people? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    Got a few weeks? Or months? Years maybe?

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#9)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:09:46 PM EST
    I have to do things to get ready for, gasp, Christmas.  It's really the old pagan yule, but we disguise it by baking cookies, decorating, and giving presents.

    It's their values.... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:37:18 AM EST
    they value money and little else.  Our health costs them money, so obviously our health has got to go.

    I was just throwing out some newspapers (none / 0) (#4)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:42:27 AM EST
    when something caught my eye.  Lead is showing up in local game.  

    This has been an ongoing story around here, the problems with Ford Motor Co, dumping paint down old mine shafts years ago, contaminating soil and water.  Now lead is showing up in wild game.  Good job.


    Re: It's their values (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:49:47 AM EST
    EPA's Latest Crop of Phony "Science Advisors"
    When the EPA was pressed into creating a panel of "experts" to evaluate the cancer-causing effects of the toxic chemical ethylene oxide, it promptly came up with a short list of candidates stacked with industry shills. Among them: David Garabant, an extremely well-paid researcher for Dow Chemical, the world's biggest producer of ethylene oxide; Robert Schnatter of ExxonMobil (gasoline is a major source, via vehicle exhaust, of environmental ethylene oxide), and Christopher Kirman and Mary Jane Teta, both of whom have worked for the American Chemistry Council's Ethylene Oxide Industry Council.

    Money, money, money, money, and more money (none / 0) (#6)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:05:28 PM EST
    And I'd like to know just who believes any of their crap?

    I did read your comment, Kdog (none / 0) (#7)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:06:43 PM EST
    I just had to say it again.

    I guess people just (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:14:26 PM EST
    don't think, or they hear a quick sound bite about "experts" saying everything is just peachy, and they go on their way thinking their government is "protecting" them. Never asking, never knowing, wondering where they got all these weird diseases they deal with... Never connecting the dots. :-/

    80 % (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    80% of Human Diseases, 1/4 of Human Disease Deaths Caused by Environmental Degradation in Some Form

    I've been watching (none / 0) (#18)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 09:16:06 PM EST
    the Moyers show off and on and now I know of at least one group who wants to believe this stuff.  The National Association of Evangelicals.  They refuse to take a position on certain environmental issues.

    There is dissent in the group.  People with otherwise conservative credentials sent a you-don't-speak-for-me-letter to the NAE.

    God-fearing, hardworking people who are getting hurt are starting to suspect the churches are on the side of business.  They're angry. Even though they know they're going to heaven, they don't want to go prematurely (and I'm not making fun of them at all).


    Un"believeable" (pun intended) (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:32:14 AM EST
    What environmental problems would they not take a position against? I know some people refuse to take off blinders, but I would think anyone should be concerned, it's not like they live on a different planet, though sometimes some act like it.

    btw - "Is God Green" and other Moyers on the environment is online as well along with some other good video like "The Evangelical Vote: A brief look at the history and growth of the evangelical vote in the U.S."

    I didn't know he has this stuff on the web till now - just found it. Here: Moyers on America


    Speaking of blinders (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:39:39 AM EST
    James Dobson and Focus on the Family is one who refuses to take any position against or even on global warming, but the NAE is at least worried about toxic mercury levels in fish - it's an "unborn child" issue for them.

    Some of them - Dobson for instance... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 01:43:15 AM EST
    ...are like frogs in slowly boiling water. Complete denial till it's too late. When it's 150 degrees in the winter in North Dakota they might wake up.

    I don't see why it should be (none / 0) (#22)
    by aw on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:05:06 AM EST
    They don't worry about childrens' health issues otherwise, do they?  Especially if they should benefit from stem cell research.

    They worry about their health (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 09, 2006 at 09:10:41 AM EST
    Only before they are born and they can get some political capital out of it, and only after if they are their own children. After birth other peoples kids are just cannon fodder, I guess. (shaking head)

    It's still trickle down (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:07:12 PM EST
    also known in some quarters as piss on 'em. Whats good for Gen Bullmoose is good for the U.S.A; despite any appearences to the contrary. This    requires a leap of faith; again, inspite of any   appearences to the contrary.

    Again, the feigned "distrust of big govt" while  adamantly refusing to acknowledge (like any      fanatic), the symbiosis between the corporations and the very big govt they claim to despise, is  another key feature.

    Look over there: secularists, swimmer Kennedy,   and Senator Byrd!

    Nancy? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:27:43 PM EST
    The Repugs did a great disservice to their Commander-in-Chief.  The Dems ought to thank them, as they take advantage of it.

    Nancy? Hello? Nancy??

    Bill Moyers: on Bush-brand environmentalism: 2003 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 02:01:11 PM EST
    Can you elaborate on their religious and political dogma?
    They are practically the same. Their god is the market -- every human problem, every human need, will be solved by the market. Their dogma is the literal reading of the creation story in Genesis where humans are to have "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing ..." The administration has married that conservative dogma of the religious right to the corporate ethos of profits at any price. And the result is the politics of exploitation with a religious impulse.

    Meanwhile, over a billion people have no safe drinking water. We're dumping 500 million tons of hazardous waste into the Earth every year. In the last hundred years alone we've lost over 2 billion hectares of forest, our fisheries are collapsing, our coral reefs are dying because of human activity. These are facts.

    So what are the administration and Congress doing? They're attacking the cornerstones of environmental law: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, NEPA [the National Environmental Policy Act]. They are allowing l7,000 power plants to create more pollution. They are opening public lands to exploitation. They're even trying to conceal threats to public health: Just look at the stories this past week about how the White House pressured the EPA not to tell the public about the toxic materials that were released by the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.

    One of the reasons I listen to Moyers is that time and time again he shows that he's usually years ahead of the rest of the media, and the world.

    Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason

    I (none / 0) (#14)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 02:10:36 PM EST
    guess ordinary people are the creeping things, 'cause they sure seem to have dominion over us.

    And I agree, Moyers is great.  I can watch his series with Joseph Campbell over and over.


    Campbell (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 02:17:38 PM EST
    is really good.

    Moyers on America (none / 0) (#16)
    by aw on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 07:05:15 PM EST
    WNET, the public tv station in NYC, is showing Is God Green? tonight.  It first aired in October.

    Conservative evangelical Christians debate over the environment.

    That (none / 0) (#17)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 07:11:38 PM EST
    should be...what? An excercise in futility for them?

    Actually, it should be worth watching.