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Obama’s Signing Statement Two-Step

March 20, 2009

What a difference two days makes.

At the beginning of last week, the new administration and its mainstream media allies were touting yet another profound “change” from the Bush administration.

Specifically, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum on presidential signing statements that, in the words of his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, broke with “the previous administration[’s practice of] issu[ing] … signing statements that … entailed … that people disregard portions of legislation or the intent of Congress.”

The New York Times and its reporter Charlie Savage bought the White House spin hook, line and sinker.  And, the very next morning, a story appeared with the headline “Obama Looks to Limit Impact of Tactic Bush Used to Sidestep New Laws.”

The article’s lead signaled the newspaper’s, as well as its reporter’s, relief for the “change” apparently made by the new President.  “Calling into question the legitimacy of all the signing statements that former President George W. Bush used to challenge new laws, President Obama ordered executive officials on Monday to consult with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. before relying on any of them to bypass a statute,” Savage wrote.

The story continues …..

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