Signing Statement for H.R. 5441—Whereas Scout’s Head Explodes

If you have followed my writing the past year you must know I do not swear much. Well be forewarned and anyone of faint heart step away from the monitor now because today is the day that I have just Fucking had it.

The Dept of Homeland Security bill that was recently passed included legislation that was to begin addressing the problems we saw with FEMA during Katrina.

Justgo readwhat Senators Collins and Lieberman said the bill would do and then prepare yourself. Here are a few of what they considered the most prominent changes that are pertinent to this discussion. The first 2 were considered the most important changes to be made.

–The FEMA administrator would be the chief Presidential advisor for emergency management;

–the administrator… would be required to have emergency management experience;

–Strengthen FEMA’s regional task forces

–Provide additional assistance for individuals and communities that are struck by disaster, including allowing FEMA more flexibility in the types of housing it can provide to disaster victims in order to find more cost-effective alternatives to the widely criticized trailers.

This folks was a compromise bill. No one was even close to doing what many experts thought should be done— FEMA taken out of DHS and the agency head made a Cabinet level position again. No this bill was a compromise on increasing the stature and power of the head of FEMA which is what is needed. But hey I do understand it is the year 2006 in George Fucking Bush’s the United States of Bizarroland and this was as good as it was going to get or so I thought. As did I’m sure Republican Senators Collins and Lieberman who settled for the barely improved FEMA. But Praise God Damn Jeebus the bill passed and we were on the road that “begins the process of addressing the tragic shortcomings in our emergency response system exposed by Hurricane Katrina.” So Joe said.

But what did Bush do on October 4, 2006?

HE attached a signing agreement effectively re-writing the above key sections of the law. This was to maintain increased powers of the executive and your safety be damned. Bush most often cites, though not exclusively, the unitary executive theory under which he“asserts broad authority to use his judgment to interpret and apply the law” in regard to…

–Higher standards of qualifications and experience for the Head of FEMA [section 503(c)(2)] enacted so ya know we wouldn’t see the likes of another damn head of the Arabian Horse Association again—

FORGET ABOUT IT–that would “limit the qualifications of the pool of persons from whom the President may selectt”

–The head of FEMA is to be the Principal Advisor on emergency management [section 503(c)(4)]

FORGET ABOUT IT–he’ll listen to his higher father I guess

–Head of FEMA reporting to Congress on whether…

1)additional authority is needed to prepare and deploy response strike teams [section 507(f)(6)]

2)additional authority is needed to continue or make permanent the housing pilot program or make recommendations on such [section 689i(a)(4)(B)(iv). Also public assistance pilot program[689j(b)(2)(E)]

FORGET ABOUT IT–no talking to Congress about your authority or better housing than FEMA trailers. Instead the President shall “recommend for congressional consideration such measures as the President shall judge necessary and expedient.”

–Or that the President would “act through” the head of FEMA in regard to a national preparedness goal, [section 643] or developing a national preparedness system [section 644] or establishing emergency response teams.[section 633]

FORGET ABOUT IT–Baby don’t “act through” nobody

So much for compromise, Congress and a more robust FEMA and head of FEMA.</pScout

People we are living under a damn Dictator.

Why the hell do we even bother with a Congress?

Why conduct months of hearings to investigate how our federal government could have stumbled and bungled as a region of this country awash in destruction waited for help…so as to determine what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again?

Why bother?

Why spend weeks and months hammering out legislation and compromise to that legislation only to have it surreptitiousy signed away by one man now drunk on power and God because he wouldn’t go to rehab like it’s expected of every other normal-Joe-drunk-coke-head-American? Yeah that guy, the vacant idiot tool for Cheney and Addington’s quest to expand excutive powers.

Why?

Why should one member of Congress even continue in this charade any longer?

They should all just do a Foley and spend their days in their offices, at their computers and hammer away one-handed at their keyboards engaging in internet sex. At least then they’d be getting fucked on their own terms and get something in return for their efforts.

(The remains of scout’s grey matter after the cut…click Read More)

Chertoff didn’t want these changes in FEMA and neither did Bush. But he didn’t straight up fight Congress on it. Oh NO! Nor did he accept the work of the people’s house. No being the spoiled and puny little man-child that he is he just waited all the while knowing, and rest assured with that smirk on his face, that he would attach his dictator decree to that bill and damn well have it his way.

How many other bills has he rendered impotent? I am only aware of this because I have been following it’s supposed enactment. How many others I ask?

Where are Republicans Collins and Lieberman now? Were they ever going to come before us and tell us what happened because they sure as hell made a point of announcing the legislation they had put together.

Susan…Joe…do you even know?**

I am mad. I’m damned mad. Bush set about ruining FEMA when he took office in 2001 (and I mean TOOK as in stole) He set in motion at that time the disgraceful federal response to Katrina. It was all so inevitable.

But the next Katrina shouldn’t have to be.

But oh it will.

It could happen tomorrow or next year.

It could happen to you or your mother or sister or brother.

It will.

And I am so mad because it doesn’t have to happen.

People don’t have to die.

But they will.

And when they do you won’t need to spend a nanosecond playing The Blame Game because you will know whose head it is on…

The man …

who has sold our souls for torture,

has given the lives of our youth for foolish neo-con dreams of empire,

bankrupted our treasure,

vacationed as our most unique city drowned,

placed all our lives here and abroad at risk,

And shit on our constitution.

The man who just loves to play the game of politics but hasn’t a clue, care or concern of how to govern a nation or lead its people.

That man is…

Our Dictator…George Motherfucking Bush

It once was a hell of country folks…now it’s just a heckuva shame

Links for:

Presidential Signing Statement on H.R. 5441, the “Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007

H.R.5441

**UPDATE: This post was written late last night and very early this AM. I see today theBoston Globe has comments from Sen. Collins.

9 thoughts on “Signing Statement for H.R. 5441—Whereas Scout’s Head Explodes

  1. You were right Scout. I didn’t see how it could get worse, but it did.
    When is the “signing statement” going to undergo judicial review so that it can be thrown out? For a party that argued against judges going beyond strict limitations, Bushco has added to the executive branch to idiotically high levels. In the links you provided, I see the bar is coming out against them saying that it constitutes a line item veto. To me, it looks like Bush signs a bill into law and simultaneously ennumerates where he will commit felonies by acting against the same laws. What is to stop him from putting in an entirely non-related item into the bill? Couldn’t he say that HR5441, 503(c)2 calls for Congress to appropriate a billion dollars for the beautification of his Crawford Texas ranch?

  2. Well done, Scout. Thanks for going through this and laying it out here. And congratulations on saying Fuck. Sometimes, as now, it is completely warrented and the only thing that comes remotely close to immitating the sound of our exploding brains. I’ve been saying it a lot lately.
    Keep up the fantastic work! (With or without profanity as you see fit.)

  3. I would swear there were some phrases in the Constitution, the US Constitution, that is, you know, the one that all laws of our nation have to be in compliance with, and that specifies exactly what the authorities and restrictions are on each of the branches of government, that apply right now to a runaway President. I wonder if there is even the slightest chance that more than one member of Congress is aware of those phrases and what they mean. So far, only one seems to be so aware.
    Oh well, forget it. The “brains” of the Democratic Party have decided that the subject of those phrases is a forbidden word, never to be uttered by a Democrat. So, all we can hope for is that Monica will get a job in the White House very soon.

  4. Hey Maple street. I noticed the same thing.
    And check out these paragraphs from the Post
    In all, Bush has challenged more than 800 laws enacted since he took office, most of which he said intruded on his constitutional powers as president and commander in chief. By contrast, all previous presidents challenged a combined total of about 600 laws.
    At the same time, Bush has virtually abandoned his veto power, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments., Bush has vetoed just one bill since taking office, the fewest of any president since the 19th century.
    Earlier this year, the American Bar Association declared that Bush’s use of signing statements was “contrary to the rule of law and our constitutional separation of powers.”
    I read the signing statement you linked to. A lot of “not gonna do it.”
    And “Don’t tell me what to do!” legalese.
    Signing statements are like crossing your fingers while you tell a lie. “I didn’t REALLY mean it.”
    Tonight I heard an Evangelical Christian say, “I believe George W. Bush is a good man.”
    I wanted to scream “BASED ON WHAT?!” He is NOT a good man!
    Please point out his “good” Christian qualities.
    George W. Bush. Crappy Christian.

  5. Unfortunately, for so many of these laws, almost nobody has “standing” to challenge the signing statements. It really is doubtful that they’d stand up in court, but if they’re not challenged the point is moot.
    Impeachment and conviction is the obvious remedy. IIRC, conviction requires 2/3, so even if repugs lose control of congress, it’ll be tough.
    On the other hand, I suppose a simple majority could pass a “if you violate this law, you are subject to 500% income tax that can be collected by bounty hunters” provision. Could be fun.

  6. it would be nice if democrats started screaming RULE OF LAW. it’s not just for democrats.

  7. I simultaneously went into convulsions and a conniption fit when I saw this, and I bet the folks down here are the only ones in the nation who even know about this. What do we do? Something’s gotta be done.
    I’m thinking…sounds like a job for the Women of the Storm.
    That law should have included a provision requiring the head of FEMA to live in a trailer to direct recovery efforts locally, and for the White House to operate from a disaster zone.
    E.J. –
    noitsjustme.blogspot.com

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