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EPA Asserts Executive Privilege In CA Emissions Case 390

Posted by Zonk
from the interesting-use-of-term-executive dept.
Brad Eleven writes "The AP reports that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has invoked executive privilege to justify withholding information in its response to a lawsuit. The state of California is challenging the agency's decision to block their attempt to curb the emissions from new cars and trucks. In response, the EPA has delivered documents requested by the Freedom of Information Act for the discovery phase of the lawsuit — but the documents are heavily redacted. That is, the agency has revealed that it did spend many hours meeting to discuss the issue, but refuses to divulge the details or the outcomes of the meetings. Among the examples cited, 16 pages of a 43-page Powerpoint presentation are completely blank except for the page titles. An EPA spokesperson used language similar to other recent claims of executive privilege, citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"
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EPA Asserts Executive Privilege In CA Emissions Case

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  • by creimer (824291) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:39PM (#22119976) Homepage
    Wouldn't it be easier for the Bush administration to disband the courts to protect the nation from eco-terrorists in California? After all, a true democracy doesn't allow the courts to interfere with the government.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HangingChad (677530)

      How does anything anti-Bush get mod'ed as a troll? With all the lying, incompetence, turning the Justice Dept. into a stooge fest, exempting themselves from the law, wiretapping Americans, trampling on the Constitution, and plundering the nation's treasure who here still supports those asshats?

      • Re:Pakistan model... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Zeinfeld (263942) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:10PM (#22120792) Homepage
        How does anything anti-Bush get mod'ed as a troll? With all the lying, incompetence, turning the Justice Dept. into a stooge fest, exempting themselves from the law, wiretapping Americans, trampling on the Constitution, and plundering the nation's treasure who here still supports those asshats?

        There is a mailing list, mostly populated by folk who post on Little Green Footballs. They told folk to register for Slashdot several years back. Whenever there is a political story they send out a begging letter asking anyone with mod points to mod down the most threatening posts.

        They found out who I was and booted me off it a while back. I don't see why they would have stopped though.

        If you think something has been modded down unfairly repost it. They have rather fewer mod points than they need to supress all the negative comments on the administration.

  • Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:39PM (#22119988)
    ... the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.

    You people work for us, We the People. Any analyses you perform should be a matter of public record. Get over yourselves.

    Furthermore, what is with "executive privilege" being used as a cover for bureaucratic malfeasance? We aren't talking nuclear secrets here, but matters of public policy.
    • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:50PM (#22120102)
      And why the hell is the Environmental Protection Agency trying to prevent states from protecting the environment? It's like we're living in 1984, where the Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Truth promotes propaganda, and the Ministry of Plenty produces shortages... nah. That comparison is probably going too far.

      On the plus side, I hear Dick Cheney increased the chocolate ration to 20 grams.

      Seriously, November 1 can't come soon enough. The way things are going we're looking for a showdown between Clinton and McCain. For a change, we may have a win-win choice this fall. Neither's perfect, but I think either will result in a return to sanity and pragmatism, and result in a massive improvement over the current administration.

      • Unvarnished: (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mdsolar (1045926) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:20PM (#22120366) Homepage Journal
        EPA political appointee #1: "Ford is offering 0.5 billion in campaign contributions if we say no to California..."

        EPA political appointee #2: "I'll check with GM to see it they'll raise their offer."
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Are you honestly shocked that regulatory agencies fail to uphold the ideals they were founded upon? What do you think happens when you unconstitutionally consolidate power into the hands of a few politicians, lobbyists and bureaucrats? If you've had even a rudimentary education in world or U.S. history you lose the right to act surprised when this happens. Oh, what am I saying? I'm sure Clinton's Ministry of Health will vastly improve the health of the nation! Just as I'm sure McCain's Ministry of Bat-
      • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Tom (822) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:35PM (#22120490) Homepage Journal
        I've become too cynical to believe that the people ever win anything in any election.

        Someone said it very well recently: The economy is all about money, and politics is all about power. Nowhere does the good of the people figure in or matter.
      • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:44PM (#22120588) Homepage Journal
        I was more looking forward to the 5th of November.

        Although you probably won't remember it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Romancer (19668)
          That kinda talk just got you on the DHS watchlist buddy.

          Remember remember the... (CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION)
      • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:06PM (#22120762)
        EPA work for their bribers^h^h^h^h^h^h^hlobbiests.

        There is no such thing as a citizen. You are a consumer. It is your patriotic duty to consume.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by coaxial (28297)

          There is no such thing as a citizen. You are a consumer. It is your patriotic duty to consume.

          From the decider
          09/20/2001 [whitehouse.gov]

          Americans are asking: What is expected of us? I ask you to live your lives, and hug your children. I know many citizens have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat. [...] I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy. Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11th, and they are our strengths today.

          12/20/2006 [whitehouse.gov]

          The unemployment rate has remained low, at 4.5 percent. A recent report on retail sales shows a strong beginning to the holiday shopping season across the country -- and I encourage you all to go shopping more.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by tacocat (527354)

            I won't comment on your dismissal of citizenship, but the consumer economics is dead on. We've changed since WWII into a nation where the economic engine is driven by the rapid expenditure of money. By purchasing many things all the time, the economy is extremely active and strong. But it is entirely dependent on spending money rapidly.

            Once you gain the necessities: living space, transportation of some type, food, clothing, you are then spending your money on luxury items. Arguably this includes cell p

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DJCacophony (832334)
        The environment is a federal issue, not a state issue. States should not be able to arbitrarily set limitations on what their citizens can do.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by KORfan (524397)

          The environment is a federal issue, not a state issue. States should not be able to arbitrarily set limitations on what their citizens can do.
          I think you need to check that Tenth Amendment. If it's not listed in the Constitution, powers are "reserved to the States respectively".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Rarb (1033684)
          Actually, the environment is a global issue. One in which the USA is far behind most 1st world countries.
      • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:55PM (#22121166) Journal
        Seriously, November 1 can't come soon enough. The way things are going we're looking for a showdown between Clinton and McCain. For a change, we may have a win-win choice this fall. Neither's perfect, but I think either will result in a return to sanity and pragmatism, and result in a massive improvement over the current administration.

        No.

        I couldn't disagree more. Both are corporate shills who will keep the USA mired in Iraq for at least the next 8 years. They both are on their knees to the machine that is destroying not only the USA as a country, but the biosphere itself. They are both really really lame. Neither of them have a plan to deal with the impending energy crisis, nor do either of them have any idea how to deal with the ecocide that is part and parcel of the (according to Cheney) non-negotiable "American Way of Life" which is basically a practice of pillage and destruction. With a nice smiley face from Hollywood to make it all seem OK.

        :-)

        RS

      • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tarogue (84626) on Monday January 21, 2008 @08:31AM (#22125296)
        between Clinton and McCain. For a change, we may have a win-win choice

        Sorry, that's wrong. Hilliary Clinton is an ambitious dictator in a dress. Bush may be driving the bus down the road to corporate fascism, but if you hand the wheel over to Hillary, she'll happily take all the power given to Bush and use it to go full speed to corporate socialism.

        Did you know her health care plan will fine *you* if you don't get health insurance? This is not an aid to the people, it's an aid to the insurance companies. Wake up!
    • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:05PM (#22120246)
      Stop voting for the guy who tells you what you want to hear instead of the guy who tells the truth, and then maybe we can start to reverse the decades of this kind of crap.

      It'll never happen though.
      • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:22PM (#22120372)
        instead of the guy who tells the truth

        Just out of curiosity, who is that guy? I'd really like to know, so I can vote for him (or her, and no Hillary is not the one.) All the candidates I see out there at the moment are liars and/or hypocrites, to one degree or another.
        • Obama? (Score:3, Funny)

          by pipatron (966506)
          As a European, I have the view that Obama is the most trustworthy of them at the moment, and he seems to be the most tech-friendly candidate of the ones that still have a chance to get elected. Do you have any pointers to scandals that can change my view?
        • by ivan256 (17499)
          McCain and Obama seem to be better than the rest in that department. Too bad neither will win the primary.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by timeOday (582209)
            Who do you think will beat McCain for the republican nomination? McCain isn't fostering a lot of excitement this time around, but when push comes to shove, i think the Republicans will nominiate a known quantity who seems similar to former presidents, and that is mcCain. (It could certainly be worse. Back in 2000 I loved McCain. Now I think he's been brought to heel somewhat, but I guess he decided losing accomplishes nothing).
            • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:4, Insightful)

              by hedwards (940851) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:43PM (#22122394)
              Both parties right now can screw themselves badly if they keep trying to appeal to their own bases the way they have recently. I've actually been quite impressed with the Republicans for keeping McCain so close to the top. If they know what's best for them, they'll nominate him to run in the final election. He's a much more moderate candidate than any of the others, he's got a reputation for negotiating and making deals where appropriate to get what he wants accomplished, and he's much more focused on cutting down the excessive spending that the Republicans have led us to over the last nearly 8 years.

              In other words he doesn't bear much resemblance to the candidates they've been choosing lately. He's probably got more in common with Dole than with W. I was personally quite impressed that he was willing to admit that it really was the Republican party that screwed up on the budget, and not the Democrats. In other words he's a candidate that is much more likely to steal votes from the Democrats than scare away more libertarian votes to other parties.

              The Democrats right now, have made it pretty clear that they don't care about my vote enough to advance a candidate that is willing to pander to me. They seem to assume that because I'm a Democrat that I'll vote for their candidate. They seem to feel that they are in some manner entitled to get the conservative Democratic vote, and they'll be sorely disappointed if they advance somebody that is less palatable than the Republican candidate.

              From what I gather, there's a similar group on the Republican side which is also looking to vote against the party to remind them that swing voters and moderates are such for a reason.

              Ultimately, it'll be interesting either way; or utterly terrifying.
        • by creimer (824291)
          Just out of curiosity, who is that guy?

          As John McCain said a while back, it's "None of the Above" who would win this race.
        • by Kjella (173770)
          People don't want the complexities of truth, they want simple solutions and clear directions. Nor do they want to hear that there are problems the government can't solve, nor that certain things have a price tag attached nor that some things are a balance of different interests. As the bullshit race escalates, you just realize that all the candidates left have oversold themselves. Voters go with the candidates that most clearly promise to fix their issues, "careful" candidates that qualify their statements
        • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MrCopilot (871878) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:41PM (#22121024) Homepage Journal
          Just out of curiosity, who is that guy? I'd really like to know, so I can vote for him

          Dennis Kucinich, if you are a Dem and Ron Paul if you are a Republican (poor soul).

          Consequently, their tendency to tell the truth has all but eliminated either from serious consideration or even inclusion in later debates.

          • mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mattwarden (699984)
            Absolutely. Regardless of whether you agree with these guys, you know they aren't bullshitting you. The rest of the candidates ask you what you want to hear (polls) and then tell you exactly that. It has absolutely no bearing on what they're going to do during their administration (Bush against nation building, Bush for an amendment banning gay marriage, Bush [insert just about any campaign promise here]).

            But we're too dumb to vote for the guy who tells us what he's going to do. We'd rather vote for the guy
        • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @08:59PM (#22121666)
          instead of the guy who tells the truth

          Just out of curiosity, who is that guy? I'd really like to know, so I can vote for him ...

          Obviously an over-simplification, but chances are, if you don't like what they're saying, that's the truth. For example, does anyone really think lowering taxes will help pay off the 650+ billion dollars spent on Iraq? (Please save the "stimulates the economy" speech, I know it's more complex than either point of view.)

          Now since each politician distorts different things, the choice isn't always clear and simple. Pick your poison and stick with it.

          I want a President and Congress that will tackle the big issues, *then* the smaller ones. Here in Virginia, our legislators have wasted time trying to pick a new state song, and a bill to ban hanging anything that looks like testicles from trailor hitches. I can't even *imagine* what crap goes on at the federal level.

          For example, for me, a candidate that is anti- (abortion, gay marriage, flag burning) etc... is missing the point. While these topics are important, they are individual matters and the US has serious community problems like the debt, healthcare, immigration, employment, etc... Get these solved (for which, I don't know the answers), then work on the others.

          I know I will get shit-stormed by *someone* for using the above examples, so, not to inflame anyone's passions, but for the record, I am, and my wife was (she died two years ago):

          • pro-abortion: I'm a guy and (even if I disapproved, which I don't) I don't think it's my place to tell a woman what she can/can't do with her body. Husbands and wives may have difficult discussions about this, but it's her body,
          • pro-gay marraige: I would split what we call "marriage" it into civil and religious components - for everyone. A civil-union for the legal/tax/estate stuff, and marriage for the religious stuff - if your religion supports you. Everyone, gay or straight gets one, the other or both.
          • pro-flag burning: Seriously, what's the argument here? You can buy US flag underwear. People die protecting our rights, including free-expression. You don't like someone buring a flag, too bad - move to N Korea - bet you can't burn a flag there. I argue that the US is great *because* we can burn our flag.
          • by Firethorn (177587)
            I'd need a few more viewpoints/goals, but so far you look better than the other candidates.

            Seriously, I'm 100% with you on the marriage issue. As far as I'm concerned, civil unions for all, if you want to call yourself married, find a priest willing to perform the ceremony.

            On flag burning, I might personally not like it, but as long as it's their own flag, aren't violating any safety/property laws, etc... It's allowed. I'll note that I DO object when protesters block access, and depending on how they do
      • by couchslug (175151)
        "It'll never happen though."

        A guy who tells the truth, or anyone voting for him?
    • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:17PM (#22120336) Homepage Journal
      "Executive privilege" -- yeah, that's exactly what they're doing.

      Executive privilege is designed to protect matters of national security. Not political blunders or malfeasance. We're talking about automobile emissions standards, not plans for building an F-117 for crying out loud.

      And California has a direct need to have higher standards than the rest of the freakin' country. Have you been to Los Angeles? *cough* *cough* The smog is horrible. And most of it is due to the rather large number of automobiles that operate on the roads there. Traffic sucks bad -- the streets are in constant gridlock.
      • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:48PM (#22120626) Homepage Journal
        Head a little further east, into Riverside and Redlands. LA's exposure to the sea breeze drives their smog right into the inland empire, where it settles. LA may generate most of it, but the majority ends up settling in the valley. When we're lucky, we can see the mountains arund us at night. Usually it's just a haze and only the lights are visible.

        California doesn't need higher standards. California needs to start banning all old and out of tune automobiles, period. There's so many junker antiques running around that it's absolutely insane. Also, they need cleaner factories. They might as well start their own EPA while they're at it, because the one we already have isn't doing a goddamned thing. How do we get a vote to pull all of the EPA's funding into Congress?
        • by Firethorn (177587) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:24PM (#22122274) Homepage Journal
          California needs to start banning all old and out of tune automobiles, period. There's so many junker antiques running around that it's absolutely insane.

          A very good point. I've seen some studies showing that many older vehicles will literally pollute 100-1000X as much as a modern vehicle.

          And, to an extent, California has made this problem worse by driving up the costs of a new vehicle - meaning people hang onto their junkers for as long as possible.
      • by Duhavid (677874)
        "Traffic sucks bad -- the streets are in constant gridlock."

        Think of how much less pollution there would be if this were attended to.

        I live in San Diego, there have been a couple of places where new freeway
        construction has happened. One near my house has the award ( in my opinion )
        for total pollution and time wasting boneheadedness. There was already
        an over/underpass. Rather than cloverleaf, to keep things moving, they put
        up lights. More energy being wasting ( no, not a huge amount, but still ),
        running
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tacocat (527354)

      You are right. But we haven't a means to get this message out to anyone in politics such that they actually listen and act. I suppose we could start rampant impeachments or try to force the issue with the politicians. but they seem more involved with the micro-minority issues rather than just voters concerns.

    • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:48PM (#22120622)
      You people work for us, We the People. Any analyses you perform should be a matter of public record. Get over yourselves.

      Why should they? If all you do is mutter on slashdot they've got nothing to worry about. Outside of the techie world how many people even know what a news discussion site is?

      The problem about just saying you should have your rights under the constitution is that the people who got the opportunity to create it and then wrote it actually did fight, and many suffered and came over all dead. You don't compare well to them, except in the 'gathering to discuss their grievances' bit.

      You need to do something about it aside from talk is the point I'm making.

      I can't, I'm not American, but I would if I had to in my own country.
      • About the only thing I can do is write letters to Congresspeople. Which I do. And vote. Which I do. I contribute to political organizations that I believe are helping to improve matters. What else would you suggest I do?

        We're a ways yet from taking up arms against our Federal Government and attempting to overthrow it in hopes that whatever replaces it will be better. If that happens, so be it, but people talking about the problems we face are the first step in trying to fix them, and people generally tal
        • by rucs_hack (784150)
          About the only thing I can do is write letters to Congresspeople. Which I do. And vote. Which I do. I contribute to political organizations that I believe are helping to improve matters. What else would you suggest I do?

          What else? I have no idea, I'm not you. Then again, perhaps you've heard of Rosa Parks? Just one little lady all alone. She seemed to do ok. Not the same problem, but she certainly had an effect.

          I'm certainly darn sure that writing letters that (most likely) only interns read isn't the way
          • Personally I'd go for non violent and persistent protest in person. Its hard to demonise a person who refuses to fight back, but also refuses to give up.

            Rosa Parks is a bad example, because her case was something was relevant to everyone at the time, and everyone understood that (racism has long been a huge part of American culture, like it or not.) What she did polarized people, hit them where they lived, and was able to open more than few people's eyes. Not that she was even trying to do that ... littl
    • Maybe you should think this through a little bit more. Have you ever tried to negotiate something important in public? For example, had a difficult discussion with your girlfriend in front of her or your friends? Debated with your child whether he could or could not do something in front of his friends? Talked with him about TV or computer rules in front of his teacher? Been divorced and tried to negotiate with your ex-spouse in open court? Tried to get you boss to understand something tricky -- emba
      • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:41PM (#22121030)
        You apparently don't understand the point.

        Nobody's saying that all such things should be performed in public, but the record of their dealings damn well should be. Period! If their actions are not justifiable, then we need and have every right to know that, so we can get rid of these assholes and put in people that are more trustworthy. The issue here is that an important matter of public record, one that affects many millions of people, is being hidden from us using a flimsy excuse and a misuse of "executive privilege." If that doesn't at least smell like malfeasance in office to you, you must have a problem with your olfactory organs.
  • Que? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ScouseMouse (690083) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:40PM (#22120008) Homepage
    Surely, the executive privilege thing is to protect state secrets, not to protect state officals? If Something someone says wouldn't hold up to scrutiny, they shouldn't be saying it for an official document?, particularly one that goes against what the local politicians have decided?
  • by jon787 (512497) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:44PM (#22120046) Homepage Journal

    "citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting."


    So why not just redact the names and leave the statements intact? Oh yeah, that would actually make sense.
  • Typical Bureaucrats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rossz (67331) <ogre@gee k b i k e r.net> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:48PM (#22120082) Homepage Journal
    They hide information for the sake of hiding information. You're reducing pollution, asshole, not hunting down terrorists so there should NEVER be any reason to withhold any information from the public, let alone a court of law.

    The law should be: By default all information is public. The government must PROVE there is an overriding security reason to keep something a secret. And not wanting to be embarrassed isn't good enough. Hiding information to save someone's political career is an argument FOR releasing the data.
    • They hide information for the sake of hiding information.

      I've always said that bureaucrats have a lot in common with squirrels.
      • by Fred_A (10934)

        I've always said that bureaucrats have a lot in common with squirrels.
        Except the squirrels have the very useful side effect of planting lots of trees.
        Nothing useful grows out of secrecy.
  • It's their job (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DMCBOSTON (714393) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:52PM (#22120122)
    They are supposed to provide "frank and honest opinions". It's their job. That's why we pay them. If they are afraid to tell the truth, then something is seriously amiss, and we must suspect some meddling (possibly corporate) in the process.
    • Re:It's their job (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:09PM (#22120294)

      If they are afraid to tell the truth, then something is seriously amiss


      In Michigan we recently had an election where two candidates stood up and talked about how they were going to help the state's economy. One said he would train the workers to do economically sustainable jobs, and the other lied out his ass about how he was going to bring back jobs that our economy can't possibly support when competing with cheap labor from China. The liar won the election.

      So yes. Things are seriously amiss. But make sure you point that finger in the right direction.
  • Executive Privilege? EPA needs its bottle changed, they're scared of reality.
  • So, does anyone have a link to the documents that were released? Or are they supposed to be kept secret until the trial?

    'cause given the track record of the feds wrt. FOIA releases, the odds are small but decidedly non-zero that the information is still in there and they just have to turn on "track changes" or edit in full Acrobat or something.
  • Do something. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calebt3 (1098475) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:58PM (#22120184)
    Sitting here and complaining about how all of this is BS isn't gonna change things. What can we actually do to make our collective disapproval known?
    • Sitting here and complaining about how all of this is BS isn't gonna change things. What can we actually do to make our collective disapproval known?
      Behold the wonders of unelected officials endowed with power unchecked save for the one person who won't actually listen to anyone: The President.

      Ahh..
    • Make a billion dollars and *ahem* "lobby"
  • Sickening... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:02PM (#22120218)
    Ok, I'm a business owner and that makes it hard for me to be a Demo. Furthermore, I'm a California citizen and I'm generally opposed to "Moonbeam" Jerry Brown and his environmental soapbox posing. So you see, I'm not a screeming liberal by any means.

    That said, this just really sucks. The Freedom of Information act was possibly the most effective means to hold the government accountable in my lifetime. Bush and company have no respect for it and think that they can arbitrarily ignore it. In the words of Emo Philips, "They need to be tought a lesson". Run their asses back to Texas along with all their followers, cronies and hacks. I'm greatly sick of all of this.
  • On what possible grounds is EPA claiming executive privilege? On the "cause we say so" grounds?

    This is what happens when political appointees put The Party ahead of the country, btw.
  • by Black Sabbath (118110) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:33PM (#22120468) Homepage
    In a pre-emptive reply to the inevitable comments claiming this is evidence of imperial hubris, or corporate-fascistic tendencies, I say poppycock. The US is and always will be a REPUBLIC. The only difference is the recent addition of the adjective BANANA.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:36PM (#22120494) Homepage
    And by house, I mean WHITE HOUSE. This crap has gone on WAY too long. People aren't just looking away because they can't. When there's a pile of shit in the corner, you tend to point your nose in another direction; look away. But when we have this situation; there's shit in every corner, there's no place to look away to! That's when it's time to clean up.
  • by plopez (54068) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:40PM (#22120528) Journal
    It is a fiction created by the presidency so they can cover things up. I challenge *anyone* to find out where in the constitution this right is spelled out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by delong (125205)
      No need, the Supreme Court has spelled it out already. It's a logical corolary to the principle of separation of powers.

      Not everything is "spelled out" in the Constitution. The Constitution "spells out" generalized powers and a scheme of government based on English common law and principles of political philosophy. Much of the functioning of the federal government is based on reasoning from these basic principles and scheme. The Constitution is not a universe unto itself.
  • Chilling effect? You know what? I kinda want them to chill. You know...until there's a new administration...
  • by dprovine (140134) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:03PM (#22120738)

    As with previous examples, it's not that they fear a chilling effect on candid advice, it's that the advice they gave wasn't for the good of the country. They advised the EPA to do what was good for their industries, and that's bad press.

    In an interview on the Newshour http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june01/schorr_5-29.html [pbs.org] in 2001, Daniel Schorr was asked what he'd learned about government after years of covering it, and he answered:

    What I learned about that was, first of all, that power exercised in secret is frequently exercised in the stupid... most stupid possible way.

    If people knew that their malfeasance was going to go public some day, and be exposed to the light, they would be less comfortable tell all the lies they tell in the dark.

  • "citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"

    The administration is here referring to the chilling effect in a literal sense. i.e. being the slowing of the greenhouse effect that could occur if the current regime was held to account. But they don't have it quite right- it would be a slowing of the heating rate, not an absolute drop in

  • Impeach the current President and Vice President. It is the only solution.
  • is that it's only OK for the experts to give testimony if the ones in power agree with the experts?

    citing 'the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting.'"

    Sounds like the good 'ol "you can't handle the truth" argument.

  • by VennData (1217856) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @08:08PM (#22121252)
    How dare you people critisize our beloved, Rushmore-deserving, Commander-in-Chief when this nation is at occupation. And I double dare you when it comes to his selfless, humble friends that sacrifice and serve the countryside they love - And! - who could be making way, way more in the private section, unlike you chipwits. I hope these real Americans you attack all get jobs as lobbiers and hand-write laws that outsource all your jobs to Indiana. Servants of the people you say? Not in the land of purple mountains majesty and fruity plains, because I'll have you know, a Log Cabin Republican President named 'Honest' outlawed slavery with the 18th amendment (which Clinton attempted to overturn with the 21st as I recall.) And another thing. You think gasoline won't go to $200 a barrel if that Hillary Clinton gets elected? She won't, but if - because I'm here to tell you no Saudi King is going to walk down a primerosa path holding hands with her and then what? I'll tell you what. There goes the "Special Relationship." Your minds have been ruined by all those liberal courses you took at college. I doubt you could even understand what those patriotic EPAers even wrote... that they deleted I doubt you could even put two sentences together. Believe me, if they decide it's to their advantage to unredact this alleged information and not be chilled, this administration has backups of everything they've ever done. Do you? Did Clinton?
  • by fast turtle (1118037) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @11:06PM (#22122552) Journal
    out of the damn Union. Remember folks, California is the only state that can do so because of how we joined. California actually voted to amend the states constitution so it was secondary to the United States Constitution. Because of this, it's simply a matter of revoking that amendment and make California's Constitution the supreme document of the land once again.

    Another interesting fact is that California's state budget is 1/5 of the federal budget without the current spending on the "W.o.T" (war on terror) that's being pushed by Bush and his cronies. So overall, I think the combination of the Real ID act, the EPA trying to tell us we don't have they right to set tougher standards then the nation, along with all the other flak and shit from Washington is finally giving us the needed push to leave the nest.

  • Legacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gauchito (657370) on Monday January 21, 2008 @02:29AM (#22123820)
    On NPR today, a commentator (forgot what he was) said that Iraq was going to be Bush's legacy, and that he'd be remembered depending on how that turns out.

    This will be his legacy. Iraq, the wiretaps and erosin of civil liberties, guantanamo,etc, are pretty big deals, but are tiny compared to the crap we'll be getting from climate change soon. His avoiding of the issue, his going out of the way to sabotage attempts at fighting it, and then his half-assed attempts to tackle it, will, hopefully, be what's remembered. Little consolation, of course, for those for those who'll suffer from his amazing ability to ignore the world around him.

    Not all his fault, of course. The only serious Republican candidate that realizes the seriousness of the situation is McCain. The others, who have more of the traditional conservative base behind them, don't; rather, they would actually, like Bush, undo much of the hard work that had been done so far to keep environmental degradation under control.

    It has never been so important for a Democrat to win, in my opinion. Our kids futures probably depend on it, and not just to ensure that they can collect a social security check.

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