Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday 31 January 2006

White House Fiercely Divided; VP Cheney Wants State of Union Address Kept Private

Team of VP Lawyers Prepare Emergency Court Petition; Bush Wanting To Lay Out New Conservative Agenda

Sources tell The Garlic that a fierce battle is raging on today, inside the White House, as Vice President Dick Cheney is, forcefully, challenging President Bush to keep the State of the Union Address private.

Cheney pushed Senate Leader Bill Frist to confirm Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito "first thing in the morning" so the new conservative judge can be sworn in in time to hear the Vice President's emergency petition to keep the State of the Union private, under Executive Privilege.

Alito was confirmed, by a 58-42 vote and quickly sworn in as the 110th Supreme Court Justice, the oath was administered by Chief Justice John Roberts at the justices' conference room at the Supreme Court building about 12:40 p.m

Alito, as it became clear in his confirmation hearings is an advocate for far-reaching executive powers.

Cheney and his staff "relentless"

'This is as bad as I've ever seen it," said one White House aide. "The VP's people are like pit bulls … They've been relentless."

Cheney has, for most of the tenure of the Bush Administration, been at the lead for unfettered, supreme executive privilege. The Vice President successfully defended keeping his 2002 Energy Meeting notes, when Cheney and other Bush White House staff, met with the CEO's of the nation's energy companies, to lay out the administration's policies.

In early 2001, Vice President Cheney headed a task forces that met with over 400 people, from corporations, trade associations, environmental groups and labor unions, to devise a new energy policy for the nation. The task force report recommended, among other things, more drilling for oil and gas.

Cheney, and the White House, since May of 2001, steadily refused the General Accounting Office for the notes and details of the meetings, before going to court to sue the Administration for them.

Cheney, it is also speculated, was behind the outing of CIA Agent Valerie Plame, with his Chief of Staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby" currently under indictment. Cheney may also be the forces behind President Bush authorizing warrentless wiretaps and eavesdropping on American citizens.

'The Vice President is going to go down, swinging and punching for executive privilege," said Sonny Earl, editor of a Supreme Court newsletter that monitors the court's activities, 'OMIB" ('The Original Men In Black').

"He's dead set on not letting anything out. Absolutely no way," added Earl.

Sources say it's not clear where Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sits in this battle.

Cheney has his lawyers readying an emergency petition to keep the State of the Union Address private, and will need the Justice Department to file it.

Gonzales has been a staunch supporter of President Bush, and his policies on the torture of captured terrorists, and the warranties wiretapping of U.S. Citizens.

"Alberto has been riding Bush's coattails, going back to the early nineties, in Texas," says Earl. "He's not about to change jackets at this point in time."

Article II (Section 3) of the Constitution mandates the President to give a "report" to Congress, but doesn't specify that it has to be, live, in person, before a joint session of Congress.

"He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was the first President to submit his in writing, and that practice held until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson chose to deliver his in person.

Calvin Coolidge, in 1923, became the first president to have his State of the Union address broadcast on radio and Harry Truman, in 1947, was the first televised State of the Union Address, the phrase coined by Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1935.

Bush To Lay Out New, Visionary Agenda, with Intelligent Design and Private Wiretaps

Sources tell The Garlic that President Bush is eager to lay out a "new, visionary" agenda, thumping back to conservative values.

Bush is ready to dig in to the "Intelligent Design" issue, merging it with conservatism, and announce that he will sign an Executive Order to place the reference of "God" more times inside the Pledge of Allegiance.

And, dovetailing that with mandating, by Federal law, that a monument or statue of the Ten Commandments must be placed as close to the American flag on Federal property and, expanding out to "any institution that receives Federal funding".

"They want a fight on this one," says Earl. "They want someone to take this to court. They have Alito and Roberts on-board now and they are just itching for someone to take it up the ladder."

The President will also defend his use of wiretaps and eavesdropping, with a ambitious new announcement.

Using some elements of his rejected Social Security overhaul, the President will announce a new "Private Wiretap Account", so that "any average citizen can have access to any NSA files created on them".

The President will also announce is 2006 Axis of Evil List, and, as reported last week by The Garlic, it's very likely the final list will be written, perhaps, just minutes before the address, as there is still much debate going on as to who's in and who's out.

"Look for him to throw a bone to the PNAC," says Harold "Ace" Larson, an analyst for the counterintelligence think tank, 'Book'em and Beat'em'.

"He'll be pushing the fear button a few times, making some vague references to a threat from this one, weapons of mass destruction held by that one. He'll have a new crop of seeds for democracy he'll be wanting to plant. I wouldn't be surprised if the PNAC, recovering from blowing the Hamas election, already has some new plans that the President can launch."

"Let just say, added Larson, "you don't, necessarily, want to be making any investments in Iran or Syria over the next two-years."

Vice President Dick Cheney is far from giving up, as he battles today with President Bush to keep the State of the Union Address private

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