Bush clean-up item 947*:
I started to title this article with the word 'loophole,' but this loophole has been abused to install rats-- people who fail to measure up to congress. It's a rathole.
The interim appointment laws were made to cover emergencies. Bush has been abusing this law, among many. The congress closed the loophole for appointing federal attornies that was created by the patriot act. It is time for them to close the loophole altogether, so rogue presidents like Bush can never again appoint losers, trolls, creeps and cretins as judges, diplomats, department heads or to any other place where the people of America deserve to have their elected officials vet the appointees.
*There are surely thousands of Bush cleanup items that will be identified as America moves forward, attempting to recover from the potentially fatal destructive force of the perfect storm of the Bush Whitehouse combined with the 2002-2006 rubberstamp right wing congress. This is one that cannot wait until Jan 2009. Matter of fact there are plenty of other cleanup items that should not wait. Let Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell and other right wing extremist stew in their bile and become red faced with indignancy as the American patriots in the congress undo the wrongs these corporatist loyalists have enabled or perpetrated. Let the right wing thugs who have allowed Bush to violate votes with signing statements turn purple with apoplexy as they are outvoted and overridden on issue after issue.
On some of the votes, in the senate, they will block passage of legislation their own constituents want. These corporate capos will win the approval of Bush and Cheney but they wil pay the price when election time rolls around. Every vote against a Bush cleanup by these "friends" (that's what the democrats call their fellow legislators. There's a policy that should end. They are enemies of democracy, of the constitution, of the middle class-- call them what they are, or, if you want to avoid foul language, call them opponents, but not friends) should highlight the opponents as failures who block the process of getting America back to its constitutional roots where honesty and quality trump politics.
Congress must revoke the privelege of the president to make interim appointment with wording that only allows them in the most extreme of circumstances, and clearly, being at war is not extreme enough. Congress must also stipulate that any appointment can be immediately revoked by the congress as soon as it resumes and that no long term benefits may accrue to the appointee, like eligibility for retirement benefits, etc.
This legislation should be short, a page or two at most, and it should be done immediately. Co=sponsors should include all the democratic members of every committee in the house and senate that was screwed by Bush's latest round of abuse of interim appointment powers, or previous rounds-- senator Biden, Senator Leahy, Senator Boxer, congressman Conyers, Congressman Rangel, congressman Waxman, for starters...
Then again, why not add an extra page, retroactively applying the law to all the interim appointees Bush has already appointed. Call it the "good job Brownie act." Define it as a law designed to prevent incompetent, excessively partisan persons from evading the screening by publicly elected officials. Sure, the second part, which would basically fire most of the judges Bush appointed using interim excuses, would be opposed by the right wingers. But it will also frame them as being co-conspirators in evading the will of the people. That doesn't go well with independents.
Even Joe Lieberman should vote for this bill.