Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Today we begin with another tidbit from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush. This one is about Dick. Also known as "The Penguin." DAY 77: In January 2002, Vice President Cheney refused to let a congressional oversight body see records of his Enron meetings. The records might have helped determine how much influence the company may have had over the energy policy Cheney's task force developed in 2001. Cheney explained his refusal to publicize what took place at the meetings by saying that he and the president should be allowed to do their work in secret. He told CNN in 2002: "I have been in town now off-and-on for 34 years. And during that period of time, there's been a constant, steady erosion of the prerogatives and the power of the Oval Office, a continual encroachment by Congress, War Powers Act, Anti-Impoundment and Budget Control Act, previous instances where presidents have given up, if you will, important principles. So the office is weaker today than it was 30, 35 years ago." The administration that was in office 30, 35 years ago was the Nixon administration, in which Cheney served. Watergate took place during this same period in Nixon's first term, causing Congress to later establish reforms that made it more difficult for a president to conduct politically motivated burglaries. (Sources: "Cheney: We're keeping papers secret on principle," CNN, Jan. 29, 2002. Elisabeth Bumiller, "Enron's Many Strands: The Vice President; Cheney Is Set to Battle Congress to Keep His Enron Talks Secret," New York Times, Jan. 28, 2002. Adam Clymer, "Judge Says Cheney Needn't Give Energy Policy Records to Agency," New York Times, Dec. 2002.)

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