So last November the American people spoke and turned over control of Congress to the Democrats. Bush wanted to appoint some creepy donors to positions at the State Department, the National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Elections Commission etc. If the Congress was Republican he could just expect them to be approved with no oversight. The problem was that now the Congress would be Democratic. The new appointments would be scrutinized and found to be crap. So the President decided to do what he has done in the past when he can't get approval from Congress, he does a recess appointment. A recess appointment lets him fill a key vacancy during a Congressional recess so the business of Government can continue. The recess appointment clause has been seriously abused by the President to get unqualified cronies past Congress.
Here is the problem, the Congress was not in "recess." It was not in session at all. The 109th Congress had not started yet, and the 108th had already finished. Until the 18th of January, when the new Democrats were sworn in, the Congress was still controlled by the Republicans. So what did they do. They convene the new 109th Congress for 41 seconds on January 4th. After Congress is in session, and then closed, after 41 seconds, Congress is officially in "recess" and Bush can appoint his friends and donors. What a creep.
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