Saturday, December 29, 2007

Explain to me again who's "pro-military"?

The shrub is going to "pocket veto" a military spending bill, claiming it opens up the Iraqi government to lawsuits for reparations from Saddam Hussein's rule.
Bush's decision to use a pocket veto, announced while vacationing at his Texas ranch, means the legislation will die at midnight Dec. 31. This tactic for killing a bill can be used only when Congress is not in session.
Except the Senate is in session throughout the Christmas break, in order to thwart the dictator from making recess appointments. So the legality of this action is in question, as is always the case with this regime. Not that Congress has the spine to do anything about it.

The excuse used by the shrub is, of course, a lie. It's a lie used to cover up the real reason he doesn't want the spending bill to pass: benefits for our soldiers.
in the legislation were improved veterans benefits and tighter oversight of contractors and weapons programs. The pocket veto means that troops will get a 3 percent raise Jan. 1 instead of the 3.5 percent authorized by the bill.
But that's not the only reason, either.
A Democratic congressional aide pointed out that a pocket veto cannot be overridden by Congress and allows Bush to distance himself from the rejection of a major Pentagon bill in a time of war.
So it's another dictatorial end-run around Congress, just so the boy can lay the blame for failing to pass military spending on Democrats. Never mind that the boy had weeks during which he could have worked with lawmakers to amend the spending bill, and took absolutely no action. It's all about making the Democrats look bad. And the Democrats, whose timid, pathetic excuse for "leadership", will let the White House do it. Just as election year is coming up. I swear, the Dems never miss an opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But make no mistake, this one is squarely the shrub's contempt for the military he claims to support at work. He's using the military as a club with which to pummel political opponents into craven submission, and then he turns around and pisses all over the military.

Getting back to the illegality of this, as explained by Kagro X at Daily Kos:

That's right, civics fans: Bush is claiming this is a "pocket veto," as defined in Article I, section 7 of the Constitution:

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large in their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Because the bill has so much in it for veterans and active members of the Armed Forces, Bush apparently doesn't dare sign an affirmative veto. Instead, he'll pretend it... just went away on its own.

But this bill was presented to the president for his signature on December 19th. It's been eight days since then, not counting Sundays as the Constitution outlines. Seven if you give an extra day for Christmas. Hasn't been ten days yet.

Not only that, but you may recall that the Senate has remained in session all this time explicitly to prevent trickery like this. The most oft-cited reason was to prevent recess appointments, but the pro forma sessions -- the most recent of which was held today, yes, the very day Bush claimed there was no session -- also serve to avoid adjournment, and therefore the pocket veto.

But not in Bushworld. In Bushworld, these sessions don't count. Because he says so.

At some point, Congress has to address this blatant violation of the Constitution by the shrub. George W. Bush is not a king, no matter how much he thinks he is. And he cannot simply declare Congress in or out of session just so he can screw over veterans and active duty soldiers. Considering how he loves to pretend he's a man, considering how tough and pro-military he is, you'd think he would have the balls to veto a spending bill. But the boy is really a coward in spite of his tough-sounding rhetoric, who lacks the courage to take responsibility for his crimes.

The question one has to ask, then, is who is really "pro-military": Congress, which passes pay raises for troops and increases in benefits for veterans; or the shrub, who violated the Constitution just so he could deny the military those things?

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