Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Courts News Politics

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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EPA Asserts Executive Privilege In CA Emissions Case

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

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:39PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:48PM (#22120080)
    I bet there were a some American Auto makers (well, they now mainly produce cars in Mexico, but that makes them still American, right?) And Oil Companies listed on those 16 pages.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by flyingsquid (813711) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:50PM (#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.

  • It's their job (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DMCBOSTON (714393) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:52PM (#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.
  • Do something. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by calebt3 (1098475) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @04:58PM (#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?
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:05PM (#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:It's their job (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:09PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:15PM (#22120328)

    In this age of climate change hysteria, if you did research that ended up suggested otherwise would you like to have it out there with your name on it?

    If the research is solid, then yes, of course, why not? If fear over climate change is just 'hysteria', then the scientific process will over time eventually push the truth to the service, and what scientific researcher wouldn't want his/her name associated with pioneering good research that revealed the truth? You think scientists would rather lie and be buried anonymously than reveal a truth that puts them ahead of everyone else?

    It will be effectively impossible for anyone to debunk the research if it is genuinely good, because that's how science works.

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

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:17PM (#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.
  • Unvarnished: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdsolar (1045926) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:20PM (#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:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:22PM (#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.
  • by BlackSabbath (118110) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:33PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:35PM (#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 erroneus (253617) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:36PM (#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 @05:40PM (#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.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:40PM (#22120538) 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?

  • by twitter (104583) * on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:44PM (#22120576) Homepage Journal

    The information clampdown comes from the top and it's root is corruption. Government scientists are all to happy to publish their findings but have been threatened when those findings goes against administration and industrial goals. They are hiding evidence of collusion with big oil and auto makers. If you were free to look back at their records you would see step changes in their publications that accompany high level appointments. GWB claims he has already reduced emissions. That's true, but he backed off more stringent requirements and those requirements were justified by previous, slightly less corrupt administration.

    The big picture is that auto makers are right back where they were in the early 70's, pushing big, dangerous and gas guzzling cars. Curb weights have finally matched or exceeded those of late 70's cars. Typical SUVs, like the Jeep Cheroce, get 16 MPG or worse.

    Just as it was back then, we have an oil crisis. The automakers themselves are huge money losers but big oil is laughing all the way to the bank with year after year of "best year ever" profits. Despite year after year of best year ever production to match, the price of oil has caught up with it's late 70's inflation value and gasoline is headed for $5/gallon. Everyone driving those clunkers has the blood of US servicemen and innocent Iraqi citizens on their hands. As the price of energy goes up, the already faltering US economy looks ready to fall on it's ass.

    The point of corruption is to make money at the expense of others. That money has been made and more will come as people default on their home loans. Pushed too far, all but the ultra rich will take a bath. We are dangerously close to that bath.

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

    by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @05:48PM (#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.
  • by dprovine (140134) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:03PM (#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.

  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:06PM (#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:Oh, spare me. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DJCacophony (832334) <v0dka&myg0t,com> on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:15PM (#22120832) Homepage
    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:Oh, spare me. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by djmurdoch (306849) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:36PM (#22120990)

    It will be effectively impossible for anyone to debunk the research if it is genuinely good, because that's how science works.
    Wow, I wanna live in the same universe as you. Science is often debunked by people who know nothing about science. Look at the steam cell and cloning 'debate' in the US.
    I don't think you know what "debunked" means. Stem cells and cloning haven't been "debunked", they've just been suppressed by the religious elements of the government.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrCopilot (871878) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:41PM (#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.

  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tfiedler (732589) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:41PM (#22121028)
    A choice between Clinton or McCain is not a win-win. Both represent the status quo of the far right and far left of the two corporate parties that rule this nation. Neither will do anything to clean up government, improve our lives, or guarantee any of our freedoms.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:41PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @06:55PM (#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:3, Insightful)

    by Rarb (1033684) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @07:55PM (#22121626)
    Actually, the environment is a global issue. One in which the USA is far behind most 1st world countries.
  • mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mattwarden (699984) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @08:26PM (#22121830) Homepage
    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 who tells us what we want to hear.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MegaMahr (788652) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @08:34PM (#22121900) Homepage
    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.

    Election Day is November 4th this year, not the 1st. November 1st will be the day of sweeping pardons for all of the Bush croanies...
  • by Firethorn (177587) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:24PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:43PM (#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.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Maxwell (13985) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:55PM (#22122476) Homepage
    I've seen some estimates that the new federal mileage standards will increase costs per vehicle by $3k plus.


    And the auto industry said the same thingabout *every* new technology 'forced' on them for the last 30 years. Seatbelts GM spent 30_million - in 1970 dollars no less - fighting that. Safety cages, airbags would add 'thousands' to vehicles. The last CAFE fuel economy requirements would add 'thousands' to the cost of a vehicle. (side note: has GM said that in order to meet california requirements the car will have to be lighter and then it would be unsafe and MORE DANGEROUS FOR YOUR CHILDREN yet? They love to trot that shit out to justify 5000Lb SUV's as 'safe')

    If we added up all the "thousands" of whining done by detroit cars should cost millions by now. Yet, strangely the average price inflation adjusted, has stayed about the same for 25+ years.


    Who says 3k? Toyota can do it for $500. And they will squeeze another $500 in savings on the assembly line.


    The only way to get the auto companies to do anything is to force them.



  • Then Go VOTE!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Twitchie (1023865) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @09:58PM (#22122492)
    This administration has hidden behind EP or a flat out refusal to comply for almost 8 years. Cheney came up with an energy policy years ago behind closed doors with execs from the oil and energy companies. When Congress called for details and names, Cheney told Congress to go suck an egg. This administration doesn't care about the founders' desire for 3 branches of government. The Executive branch is the only one that "rules" right now. Thank you all the Bush voters. We haven't had a democratic process for 8 years. Bush dictates what the important bills will contain and how they'll be written. If you waver, you're called un-American and the bill is vetoed. When the Executive branch dictates to the Congressional branch what to do, that's not really a "checks and balances" system. Get used to it or get off your butt and VOTE!!
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:02PM (#22122536)
    You would consider a contest between Clinton and McCain a win-win choice?!?! McCain seemed like a decent man once, but the past couple of years he has been the administration's lapdog. Meanwhile, Clinton did absolutely nothing to hinder the administration's actions; in fact, she voted in favor of almost everything they did. If these people didn't have little (R)'s and (D)'s by their names and spew their bullshit rhetoric, it would be quite difficult to figure it out judging by their voting records.
  • by TarPitt (217247) on Sunday January 20, 2008 @10:58PM (#22122950)
    "Hillarycare" would represent a right wing alternative to their existing health care system. Most advanced countries would have to reduce the scope of government involvement (including subtantial privitization) in their health care systems to match what Hillary has proposed. Since almost all of these countries have longer lifespans, lower infant mortality, etc. than the USA, they are unlikely to adopt a health care plan as right-wing as Hillary's

    And "it takes a village" would represent common sense consensus among most societies (apart from the US). Someone who proposed the common US view of "I'm looking out for number one everyone else can go die for all I care" would be thought a dangerous sociopath. A country based on "looking out for number one" would be viewed as a threat to world stability.
  • by coaxial (28297) on Monday January 21, 2008 @12:34AM (#22123506) Homepage

    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.
  • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Monday January 21, 2008 @01:24AM (#22123798) Homepage

    You think all those 'advanced countries' would have learned by now that government is the *problem* not the *solution*.

    And a government mandate that citizens pay money to certain government-approved companies is somehow a good idea? Mandatory health insurance is just a new tax payed directly to the campaign contributors. I mean, sure, the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry love this plan - but it's worse for the people than *either* legitimate socialized health care or an actual free market would be.

  • Legacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gauchito (657370) on Monday January 21, 2008 @01:29AM (#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.
  • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1.twmi@rr@com> on Monday January 21, 2008 @07:26AM (#22125264)

    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 phones over land lines, DVR, HDTV, iPod and other items that we all have purchased that we really don't require to execute our lifes (not lifestyles).

    As soon as you personally hit a financial crunch or even a severe doubt, you start to pull back on the luxury items and spend less money on them. This, when applied to the nation, has a severe impact on the economy. Much more so than other nations that are not so luxury consumer product driven. This was a part of the contribution to the housing collapse in the US. Consumer spending on housing over extended credit availability when everyone started to pull back on the luxury spending. This luxury spending impacted a lot of people in terms of lower pay raises or unemployment. It's by no means the root cause of the housing crash. But also note it's not happening in Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Brazil.

    The contradiction of go shopping more is that we are no longer able to really do this on a sustainable basis. I think there is a good wake up coming with the increased attention towards sustainable energies. Consumer economics means you consume a lot of energy too. As we shift our power consumption down, we have to either increase our efficiency of energy use, or learn to do less. This will come out of the luxury consumer goods first. A simplified example is the use of a hot tub and the energy cost involved in maintenance.

    This is also consistent with the migration of low-end labor out of the US. As we compete with lower wages in other nations, we cannot maintain the $7.50 minimum wage and compete in a global market. As energy, economy, labor becomes more leveled with other nations we will experience a decline in the American lifestyle. We have to choose to use less in order to survive.

    And this arguement that we need to spend even more money falls right into the hands of those who argue we are imperialists who are systematically raping natural resources from other nations without regard for the well beings of the nations affected.

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

    by tarogue (84626) on Monday January 21, 2008 @07:31AM (#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:3, Insightful)

    by Squalish (542159) <Squalish AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday January 21, 2008 @07:35AM (#22125308) Journal
    To be honest, yes.

    He's less of a loon than Huckabee, less of a one-note candidate than Giuliani, far more of a politician than Thompson, more honest than Mccain. He's one of the rare true-believer populists, and he's crafted a wonderful Narrative (which is inherently superior to a Face(Romney, Giuliani, Thompson, McCain), a Tribe(Huckabee), or Experience(McCain, Giuliani)). And he comes bearing a message of "I want to set you free and reduce the powers of the federal government and the president," in the middle stages of a gradual fascist takeover of the US. He's the anti-war candidate in the middle of a war led by the most discredited president in history.

    On the internet, Where People Read(tm), a Narrative is a particular advantage. It spreads virally in a way that the other political attributes don't. When it's judged to be important, it produces an astonishing amount of support. The Money Bombs set records.

    On cable news, a Narrative is useless, because they don't give a shit about analyzing political positions and issues. Cable news primarily covers the meta-politics, leadership-as-sport angle. And so among those who get their political fix from cable news, actual positions on actual issues, and the logic behind them, don't have a first order effect on next month's polls. Last month's polls do. Five second (not thirty) soundbites do. Cable news may as well be a single half-hour show on Intrade: Politics Markets for the content-neutral, content-light way they deal with things. Merely cutting down on the "two people yelling at each other" screen wasn't the way to fix journalism.

    Libertarianism isn't a terribly strong platform to run on, but it does have its followers, and a large portion of the population could be mustered behind it in times like this. Being the only libertarian is a stronger, more attractive background than actorhood, Mormonism, Christian Dominianism, or repeating 9/11 over and over again. He could have competed with McCain, or possibly even the Democratic candidate (though unlikely). The media didn't do anything so complicated as to conspire to sink his candidacy; But its failure to be news is entirely their fault because they've delved so far into meta-politics that genuine analysis is a minor foreign good, to be outsourced to party insiders and pundits who are paid to hate people like RP and Kucinich.
  • Re:Oh, spare me. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi (895663) on Monday January 21, 2008 @09:39AM (#22126198)
    Well, I ask you, which country was the first to do something about acid rain?



    England.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flue_gas_desulfurization [wikipedia.org]



    Which has the most wetlands set back, Which country has the most acreage for environmental preserves, which country started amassing environmental preserves first,



    Easy criteria for countries with a large landmass and comparatively low population density.



    Which first world countries go in and clean up their chemical messes left behind by previous generations?



    Pretty much all of them. Which first world countries make sure that their future generation don't have to continue doing this at a large scale ?



    And what little window puppetry they have pulled has reduced their productivity to the point that they have the largest unemployment rate in Europe, about 3 times as the US.



    Germany: 8.1%, USA: 4.8%, France: 8.7%, Greece: 9.1%. Yikes. Your numbers are way off. But that doesn't matter, as long as the USA are presented in a shining light, right ? Who cares about facts.

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

Working...