Outlook Portland

Jesse Cornett

Kari Chisholm and I missed a chance last weekend to plug our late planned appearance on Outlook Portland with Nick Fish. That was a shame. It was a great episode, if I do say so myself, where we discussed a broad range of local politics and (especially Kari) technology.

Next week’s show, which always has high-caliber guests is already getting good press, well the special guest on the show is, at least.

Phil Cooper, Professor of Public Administration at my alma mater, the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, is the guest this week. Oregonians often overlook the extensive expertise on national issues that exists in our town. In the government realm, it often comes from the Hatfield School of Government. Phil Cooper is exceptional amongst the exceptional.

This morning, Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote about Cooper:

For 20 years, Cooper has studied executive orders, national security directives and other policy tools that presidents use to assert their will, without permission or apology. "How we do things," Cooper said, "is sometimes just as important as what we do."

Along the way, Cooper has become an authority on the use and abuse of presidential signing statements, seemingly benign but incredibly powerful -- at least when cowards control Congress -- presumptions of executive authority.

President Bush has never employed the veto, Cooper wrote in 2005, because the signing statements are "a very effective and substantive line-item veto," allowing Bush to "effectively nullify a wide range of statutory provisions even as he signed . . . them into law."

The message Bush delivers time and again when he signs these legislative postscripts is clear: He will ignore any statute passed by Congress that is inconsistent with the Constitution. And Bush -- not the court -- is the final judge of that consistency.

Cooper and these signing statements generated national headlines in January when the administration first agreed with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to prohibit torture of detainees under U.S. control, then promptly issued a statement saying the White House reserved the right to decide when and if torture was necessary.

Stay tuned for more discussion on this subject. Outlook Portland with Nick Fish airs on KWBP, Channel 3 (cable) or 32 (broadcast) from 6:30-7:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 4th. Set your alarms and tune in or set your DVR, VCR, or TIVO. Then, come back and comment on Sunday.

  • Tamerlane (unverified)

    Did you seriously post an advertisement today for a show that aired last Sunday?

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    Did you keep reading? It's a plug for a show that's always got good guests, specifically next week. It would make no sense to "advertise last week's show, as I no of know way for it to be viewed after the fact.

  • Tamerlane (unverified)

    I think there's gotta be some misunderstanding here. At the end of your blog you say that the show in question is airing "May 28." What show are we talking about here? Was that the Cooper interview -- that as a PSU poli sci I'd like to see very much -- or is the Cooper interview going to air 4 June?

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    The signing statements are one of the most interesting...and disturbing...things coming out of this administration. I had no idea a "local" had pulled back the curtain on this. Looking forward to seeing the show.

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    Oh, that detail. I've fixed it in the post: yes the interview with Cooper airs this upcoming Sunday. Thanks Tamerlane.

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    By the way, my apologies to the BlueOregon crowd -- I'm sure many of you would have wanted to see us embarass ourselves on television. :)

    I just got real sick right after the show (correlation? don't know!) and screwed it up!

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    I wasn't going to out you for being the one that dropped the ball. Truth was that I hopped on a plane to Mexico the night of taping and didn't take the time to think about a posting!

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    Oregonians often overlook the extensive expertise on national issues that exists in our town.

    Hi Jesse, is there anyone at PSU that is an expert in Population issues that would be willing to speak at a public forum? Or, anyone else in the Metro region who's knowledgeable in this area. My sense is that gas prices are just one more symptom as human population increases and I'd like to put on a talk on this issue.

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    I'm guessing they have the expertise at the Population Research Center, though you'd have to contact them about a forum presence.

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    Are there any online archives of the program? I know a lot of people, for reasons as varied as God and booze, regularly miss this show. (I do, for one of those reasons--but I'm not telling which!) Even an audio podcast would be adequate.

  • Nick Fish (unverified)

    Thanks Jesse--

    Phil Cooper is quoted in today's NYTimes on presidential signing statements.

    The Specter speech Steve Duin refers to can be found at on line at the Congressional Record. He delivered it on May 26, on the Senate floor, in opposition to the Hayden nomination.It reads like the outline of articles of impeachment!

    Nick Fish

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    I guess I've got to chime in here...I actually watched the show. We always TIVO it...and I believe we've watched every one of them there shows, though never at the broadcast time. A Sunday morning ritual while we breakfast in bed.

    I thought you guys did very well --always fun to see bloggers in the flesh (well, on the tube)-- just as I think Nick Fish makes a good host. (Though that new theme music...what's that about?)

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    Arg. Missed it by half an hour. Transcript, anyone? audio? anything?

  • Nick Fish (unverified)


    Re the music. Initially, WB chose a grating electric guitar medley--it didn't really fit the show or the time slot.

    The replacement music, with horns, was thought to be a better fit with the time slot--Sunday morning.

    We'll keep working on it until we get it right.

    Next week, my guests are Michael Powell and his daughter, who is taking over the business. Then Roey Thorpe. Two authors in July: Gordon Smith and Les Aucoin.

    Thanks for watching.


  • LMAO (unverified)


    You ought to think about inviting a few local experts on your show to discuss global warming. It generated quite a bit of heat on a recent BlueOregon thread.

    It turns out we have a few experts here in Oregon, including people like Ed Bickford, Charlie Burr and Dr. George Taylor.

    I would really enjoy hearing Dr. Taylor address this quote attributed to him:

    <h2>The issue is not “do humans affect climate?” Clearly there IS a human influence. The question is, “how much?” In my opinion, natural variations dominate the climate system, and will continue to do so. I have NEVER denied the human influence, but unlike Phil Mote I do not believe human impacts dominate the climate system.</h2>

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