Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Left-wing politicians take away your liberty in the name of children and of fighting poverty, while right-wing politicians do it in the name of family values and fighting drugs. Either way, government gets bigger and you become less free.”     Harry Browne

June 27, 2007

Rahm Emanuel — Cheney Can’t Get Funding From Executive Branch

by Brad Warbiany

Dick Cheney dropped an odd proclamation last week. It appears that he doesn’t believe he’s part of the Executive Branch, and thus is not subject to their rules regarding disclosure. He’s playing with fire, because if he’s outside the Executive Branch, it’s unclear whose rules he falls under. Cheney is hoping that means he’s not under anyone’s rules, but that’s a tenuous assertion to make.

Now, Rahm Emanuel is going to try to call his bluff. Since Cheney doesn’t believe he’s part of the Executive, Emanuel is going to try to make sure his office— and home— aren’t funded as part of the Executive:

Responding to claims by Vice President Dick Cheney that his office is exempt from disclosing information about what it has classified as secret, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he will try to cut off the $4.8 million needed annually to run Cheney’s office and home.

Last week, Cheney claimed he is not bound to disclose some national security requirements because, as president of the Senate, he is not part of the executive branch.

Emanuel’s proposal would be attached as an amendment to a spending bill that includes funding of the executive branch and which is expected to be considered by the House as early as Wednesday night. The amendment proposes that no executive funds be used for the vice president’s office, including any money for Cheney’s vice presidential residence.

“He’s not part of the executive branch. We’re not going to fund something that doesn’t exist,” said Emanuel, who is also the House Democratic Caucus chairman. “I’m following through on the vice president’s logic, no matter how ludicrous it might be.”

Seems like a pretty clear interpretation of Cheney’s illogic to me. Of course, Cheney’s office responded with a standard retort:

Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn retorted, “I think it is sad that Congressman Emanuel would rather focus on partisan politics than the serious issues facing our country.”

What, because the Constitution, separation of powers, and the ability of “we the people” to engage in oversight aren’t serious issues? Yes, Emanuel’s playing politics. But Cheney’s just trying to make himself above the law. I consider the former a justifiable tactic against the latter.

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33 Comments

  1. Cheney has been running this country for 6 years. He knows the meatpuppet will back him on anything, and the GOP will follow right off the edge in ’08. The GOP deserve everything Cheney puts them through.

    Comment by Big T — June 27, 2007 @ 2:56 pm
  2. It’s about time the Dems got some balls and brought it to the Bush administration. Cheney is not above the laws of this country.

    Also I’m totally against the Immigration Bill the Dems. is forcing down the throats of the American people. The federal government doesn’t even try to enforce the laws we have on the books now.

    And because the government have not done it’s job, they want to do an Amenesty program again…I live in California and I’am a Black American who did support for the prior Annesty bill but what I found was that Corporate American misused and abused the leapholes and the Federal inactions.

    Ted Kennedy need to retired he is so conflicted by the Illegal Irish Aliens in this country, that he has betrayed the citizens he vowed to protect.

    This bill is crap and will continue until the Fed fix the problems of the borders, document conterfiet, border patrolmen and abuse of visa and corrupted businesses, before they try to reward corporate america and illegal aliens

    Comment by girladvendger — June 27, 2007 @ 2:59 pm
  3. I’m a Republican, but think Senator Emanuel has the right idea. If Cheney is trying to make himself out as a gray area that’s outside of executive branch oversight, then cut off his executive branch funding and see how long it takes before he withdraws the argument. I doubt he’ll get any funding out of the Senate, even if he’s the president of it. He isn’t above the law and needs to accept the fact that his office has made some serious erros and face the music.

    Comment by J Man — June 27, 2007 @ 3:09 pm
  4. Dick Cheney’s gone rogue long before this current example of deliberate dis-respect for the office that he was elected to, is tied to and associated with-The Executive Branch! His flag waving, 9-11 thumping is an act and his act of treason currently being wrought on our great nation will not stand!

    Comment by WmS — June 27, 2007 @ 3:11 pm
  5. Sounds like an interesting idea Emanuel has proposed, and it certainly seems justified, although I’m skeptical that it will go through. The Democrats don’t seem particularly capable of doing anything (particularly when it would involve a show of unity) to stop or inconvenience the Bush administration so even cutting off the VP’s funds seems like it would be beyond their ability to follow through on. This seems more like one of those off-beat news articles that gets forgotten about in a couple of weeks.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 27, 2007 @ 3:48 pm
  6. I am a registered Republican, and have been one for a very long time. I speak for millions of Republicans when I say that we are sick and tired of the abuses that the Bush administration has inflicted upon our nation and our democracy. I ask of all non-Republicans to plasee not judge us by the reprehensible antics of this bunch of liars, thieves and cheats. They aren’t Republicans and the values they model are not Republican values.

    Torture is not a Republican value. Changing the definition of torture so that you can torture but still deny doing it is not a Republican value. Imprisoning anyone – citizens and non-citzens – without charges, without access to an attorney and without a chance for a fair trial, is not a Republican value. Wire tapping without a warrant is not an American value. Vote suppression is not a Republican value. Blind obedience to the State, with criticism of government being seen as a lack of patriotism, is not a Republican value. Using illusory national security concerns to eliminate constitutional rights – rights designed to protect the citizens from tyranical government – is not a Republican value. Using fear to control the population is not a Republican falue.

    These are fascist values, pure and simple. Say it with me: you’ll feel better. These are fascist values.

    The sooner everyone wakes up to the national and international train wreck that is the Bush presidency, the sooner we can attempt to recover our international standing and repair our wounded democracy.

    I applaud Representative Emanuel’s effort to stop Cheney from using public money to continue the Bush administration’s fraud upon the American people. I urge my fellow saddened, horrified and angry Republicans to support Emanuel and anyone else who is trying to stop these people.

    Megan McGinn, Cheney’s spokesperson (whose salary is paid for with your and my tax dollars) surely realizes that this is not a partisan issue. The poorest and least educated Americans (and there are more and more of them every day thanks to the Bush administration) may buy that line, but the rest of us do not, and saying that Emanuel’s efforts to divest Cheney’s activities from tax dollars only dicredits Ms. McGinn and reinforces the growing certaintly that Cheney is dangerous.

    God Bless American and protect us from the machinations of evil men.

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 27, 2007 @ 3:54 pm
  7. So Cheney gets hits 4.8M/year funding cut off. Then what? I think Cheney has a net worth somewhere around $100M, so he could pay the people’s salaries out of his own pocket without breaking much of a sweat. I’m sure that’s illegal, but it’s never stopped Dick before. Wasn’t he involved in Iran-Contra? That was all about misappropriating funds. What I’m curious about is, if Cheney asserts he’s not a part of the Executive, then does that mean he’s willing to forfeit Executive Privilege? He claimed Executive Privilege on several occassions, the first being when he successfully fought off environmental groups from learning who he was meeting with when planning US Energy Policy.

    Comment by wow — June 27, 2007 @ 4:00 pm
  8. Wow,

    One of the reporters from that clip yesterday kept asking Perino that question and she kept ducking it…so I’m assuming that means that the White House is worried that Cheney’s claims have created that problem for him. If the rumblings that have been coming out about Republicans turning on the President are true, I think it may be that Cheney really has dug a hole for the Bush administration on this one.

    Comment by UCrawford — June 27, 2007 @ 4:28 pm
  9. Wow: Executive Privilege

    Even if Cheney isn’t part of the executive, he is still potentially protected by executive privilege on the grounds that he advises the president, and those who advise the president, and the president is entitled to advice without those giving advice subject to the fear of being subpoenaed.

    UCrawford: it is often the case that rich people are rich because they hate spending their own money. If Cheney’s funding is cut off (which is a delicious, but unlikely prospect) then it is more probable than not that he will resign rather than spend his own money to fuel his skullduggery.

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 27, 2007 @ 7:13 pm
  10. Rahm’s the rep for my zip code and this is the first thing he’s done that I’d actually support. He’s still a tool for boasting about his earmarks…

    Comment by Andy — June 27, 2007 @ 10:21 pm
  11. I ask of all non-Republicans to plasee not judge us by the reprehensible antics of this bunch of liars, thieves and cheats. They aren’t Republicans and the values they model are not Republican values.

    No. We refuse. These men are your fault. It was your stupidity in falling for their lies, twice, and your weakness in failing to impeach them once it became indisputably obvious what kind of monsters they are, that has allowed them the power and freedom to do the wrongs they have done.

    Like it or not, and I hope you dislike it so much that it makes you vomit: the Bush Administration are the Republican Party of 2007. You are free to leave it, but they own it now. You sold it to them, for a bill of goods, and there’s only one way to redeem yourselves. When the time comes, and it soon will, vote for Al Gore.

    Comment by Ash — June 28, 2007 @ 4:00 am
  12. My fault? I said I am a Republican: I blame the liberal media.

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 28, 2007 @ 10:13 am
  13. Who elected Dick Cheney as our dictator or emperor? Who gave this man free reigns to do as he pleases with our money that we so kindly but forcibly have to give to him? Who made this man feel that he can do whatever he wants? It is time to bring this evil man, who is power hungry and sides with whoever is paying him the most dividends, into the dock at Nuremburg for a life sentence at spandau prison. It is time for Bush, Gonzales, Rove, the rest of them to also be sentenced for life.

    But Ash is right about the Bush Administration being the republican party for 2007. There is, however, no way now for republicans to redeem themselves for what they have done in letting these thugs destroy what is left of this country for their personal gain. All the way back, in republican administrations, there has been something. During Reagan’s years, pirates, including Neal Bush, stole everything they could from the Savings and Loan company. Then they were running a profitable gun-running business to Nicaragua that brought handsome profits. That is what the Republicans are about and after this administration, Republicans should be judged accordingly.

    And the liberal media:) They have only uncovered what the GOP is doing, especially with that awful fiasco at Walter Reed

    Comment by Watercloset — June 28, 2007 @ 11:24 am
  14. I am begging all those who voted for Bush/Cheney to NOT BREED as we obviously have more than our fair share of stupid people and do not need to add more. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a personal sexual encounter between two consenting adults. Bush and Cheney should be up on treason and war crime charges. I am MORTIFIED that these two represent the great country I live in. We are a joke to the world and Bush/Cheney and all those who voted for them are solely to blame.

    Comment by C Malone — June 28, 2007 @ 11:26 am
  15. Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan: My fault? I said I am a Republican: I blame the liberal media.

    wow, a republican with a sense of humor. that was so funny i forgot to laugh.

    let me repeat what ash wrote, ’cause i can’t say it better: These men are your fault. It was your stupidity in falling for their lies, twice, and your weakness in failing to impeach them once it became indisputably obvious what kind of monsters they are, that has allowed them the power and freedom to do the wrongs they have done.

    let me add that your little joke should be a warning to you of your own latent sociopathology that you still think this shit’s funny.

    one last comment re: dems v. repubs

    i’m calling this nader’s supreme court, and roberts/alito/thomas/kennedy/scaliar burned the constitution this session, sweeping the ashes under the flag.

    it’s a day for grieving and weeping, not joking and laughing.

    Comment by whaleshaman — June 28, 2007 @ 11:40 am
  16. The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is…

    Wait, is there one? They both want my money and my freedom, and nothing— not even the Constitution, will stand in their way.

    Oh, and whaleshaman, while you want to talk about burning the Constitution, I would remind you that it was the “liberal” wing of the Court which burned the Constitution in the Kelo decision.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — June 28, 2007 @ 11:53 am
  17. fee fi fo fum, i smell the blood of a libertariYUM.

    a bit touchy about voting for nader? ;-)

    maybe you could simply move to a state which protects the rights of a property owner, like i can move to a state that respects my reproductive rights. and the federal government should have respected, like acton, the confederacy’s rights of south carolinians [where i live & the hotels call themselves plantations and the bikers don't wear helmets] to keep their property, er, uh….slaves.

    what a damn mess. what a damn shame.

    i agree that the kelo decision was a real costanza moment, and hopefully a mistake that should be remedied in part.

    yada-yada-yada. i have to go skateboarding now.

    Comment by whaleshaman — June 28, 2007 @ 1:23 pm
  18. to Paul Nicholas Boylan, who said: I ask of all non-Republicans to please not judge us by the reprehensible antics of this bunch of liars, thieves and cheats. They aren’t Republicans and the values they model are not Republican values…

    These fascists took control of the Party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Goldwater while you watched them do it. Did you try to stop them, or did you cheer them on? Either way, if you’re still registered as a Republican, you might want to think about de-registering. If any of the rest of us see your name on the membership list, we’re liable to think that you’re a fascist, too. Do the right thing: organize a new conservative party – maybe call it the “Real Republican” party – and get somebody on the ballot for ’08, to splinter the right-wing (rather, wrong-wing) vote. Jeb Bush comes to mind. But as far as torture & voter suppression & warrantless wire tapping & all of those other things not being Republican values… news flash: they are now!

    Comment by archbishop — June 28, 2007 @ 3:41 pm
  19. I am disgusted by the far left and the far right. Both extremes resort to dogma and cliche to avoid thinking.

    No,what I described are not Republican values, then or now. Bush and his coven of Mayberry Machiavellians fooled conservatives the way they fooled the majority of Americans – they lied. Conservatives were not the only ones who were fooled, although, truth be told, we were ripe for the con because they said what we wanted to hear (small government, control of spending, goverment out of our lives, compassionate conservativism). It was a pretty lie. Liberals have believed equally pretty lies.

    No, the Bush White House is not populated by Republicans – it is populated by immoral, out-of-control capitalists who burn with a passionate intensity to replace our democracy with a form of fascism melded with feudalism.

    My primary concern is that no one knows – or wants – to stop it. You think the Democrats can – or want to – stop it? Now who is believing pretty lies?

    I fear that, as time goes by and it only gets worse, with Democrats using the same tactics introduced by the Bush administration, entrenching tyrany, that the American people will be left with no choice but to exercise the ultimate constitutional right and rise up against the government.

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 28, 2007 @ 8:33 pm
  20. to Paul Nicholas Boylan, who said: Bush and his coven of Mayberry Machiavellians fooled conservatives the way they fooled the majority of Americans…

    If that’s your premise, it might explain some of your confusion. In 2000, Al Gore received more votes than Bush. Nader received another 2 million votes. Bush did NOT fool a “majority” of Americans.

    As for the comment: “the Bush White House is not populated by Republicans …”

    Here’s what it said on the ballot in 2000, and again in 2004:
    Bush / Cheney – Republican Party

    At least, I’m reasonably sure that it didn’t say “Mayberry Machiavellians” after their names. I would have remembered that. These people ARE Republicans. Your party ran them, and your party has to take the responsibility for it. If the Republican party crashes and burns because of them, too bad.

    No, Bush did not fool a majority of Americans, but he did fool an overwhelming majority of Republicans. Twice. A group of fools such as that should not be allowed to have their own political party anyway.

    Comment by archbishop — June 28, 2007 @ 9:10 pm
  21. You know what, when it comes down to fleecing American citizens out of their money or torturing foreign citizens, I much prefer letting the foreigners get hurt. Blaming Americans for choosing Bush over Kerry or Gore ignores both those men and their treasonous policies. So yeah, blame me for voting for Bush. Hopefully next time there will be a better third option, but I am doubting that. Who knows though? Until there is an actual better candidate, can’t blame anyone for trying to keep the worst candidate out of office. And yes, Kerry or Gore would have been much, much worse.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — June 28, 2007 @ 9:35 pm
  22. Worse in what way?

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 28, 2007 @ 9:47 pm
  23. Bush actually pushed for tax cuts. Can you say that Gore or Kerry would have done the same thing?

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — June 28, 2007 @ 9:50 pm
  24. Ah. You weigh a needless war that has damaged our national power, killed thousands of American youth, all but destroyed our military, allowed the rise of Iran, burdened our children with unimaginable debt, created more terrorists than before the war and gave government an excuse to void constitutional freedoms against a tax cut that did little more than transfer wealth from the middle class to the already wealthy?

    You are a comic genius! I love you, you nut!

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 28, 2007 @ 10:28 pm
  25. Kerry & Gore have treasonous policies? Is it treasonous not to cut taxes? Or are those two different streams of semi-consciousness at work?

    Isn’t it closer to treason when someone reduces a country’s sources of revenue during a time of war? Is it even worse when it involves pandering to the freeloaders who want to enjoy the benefits of this country, but who do not want to pay taxes?

    Comment by archbishop — June 28, 2007 @ 10:32 pm
  26. Hmmm…How much of what you mention is fully Bush? War? Approved by Democrats including Hillary and John Kerry. Destroyed our military? How? Is it worse than it was under Clinton back when it was an actual police force rather than an army? Hmmm…who exactly allowed Iran to come to power? I might be young, but I seem to have learned something about Iran back during Jimmy Carter’s days, something about hostages. Who created Social Security and all the other socialized programs truly burdening our children with debt? (Hint: not Republicans, though they haven’t tried to kill the dang things either.) You are misguided on Bush creating more terrorists; that is just a liberal talking point. And most of Bush’s policies that you are complaining about, he actually learned from the Dems hero, Franklin Roosevelt. Not only did FDR implement warrentless wiretaps, but he also went after Americans for following the law. And no, the tax cuts did not transfer money to the wealthy. In even the dumbest understanding, it allowed Americans to keep their money they earned. I know for dang certain that Gore and Kerry would rather treat the American people like a bank with unlimited withdrawels.

    All I am saying is that to blame Republicans like they are some evil people for voting for Bush ignores the other half of the country that voted for Democrats. I am not defending Bush’s actions as Constitutional, but I am also not going to give Democrats a pass for the crap they have done. Bush is crap, but he isn’t as crappy as the guys he ran against. This just goes to show the problem with our two-party system.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — June 28, 2007 @ 10:43 pm
  27. archbiship,

    I don’t know if you are debating with me, but I will answer your question about Gore and Kerry’s un-Constitutional policies. Gore wants to control Americans by mandating his environmental religion. He wants to take property from people either through pollution taxes or by not allowing people to use the land they own. At least Bush is tending to focus on doing stuff to foreigners.

    Kerry met with the North Vietnamese during a time of war when they were the enemy, giving them aid and comfort through his actions. That is the definition of treason.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — June 28, 2007 @ 10:49 pm
  28. Debating with you, trumpetbob15? Goodness, no! All I did was ask some questions. You have provided some delightful answers. I hope that the weather is nice in that parallel universe.

    Comment by archbishop — June 28, 2007 @ 11:24 pm
  29. What parallel universe? How do you classify Kerry’s meeting? I misspoke earlier when I wrote Gore had treasonous policies. He doesn’t have explicitly treasonous policies, but that doesn’t mean his ideas are Constituitional. Are you telling me that Republicans are the only evil-doers? That is what it seems like in this discussion. I merely wanted to point out that Bush and Cheney weren’t alone in their actions. I rather keep things in perspective, something I notice Democrats generally have a problem with doing.

    Comment by trumpetbob15 — June 28, 2007 @ 11:32 pm
  30. It’s not important how I classify anything that John Kerry might have done. A more important historical question would be: If John Kerry committed treason in 1971, why did the Nixon administration fail to prosecute him for it? Does your talking points source provide an answer for that?

    As for: “Are you telling me that Republicans are the only evil-doers?” That’s a classic effort to misdirect and reframe, but I’m not taking the bait. Sorry. See if you can find a rookie to try that on.

    Comment by archbishop — June 28, 2007 @ 11:58 pm
  31. Can’t we all just get along?

    Comment by Paul Nicholas Boylan — June 29, 2007 @ 12:11 am
  32. Not if it means compromising with the neo-con fascists.

    Comment by archbishop — June 29, 2007 @ 7:07 pm
  33. Where is this spokeswoman byotch from and why can’t we turn her over?

    Comment by Timotheo — June 29, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

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